It does so by expanding on debates in geography and drawing on the “spatial turn” in the social sciences to offer an integrative and relational notion of geographical scale.
Professor Richard Howitt (working on issues of Indigenous rights and community development) and Professor Robert Fagan (working in economic geography, food security and employment) have fostered an influential discourse about scale and social theory.
The work has been widely cited since its initial publication in the early 1990s and is increasingly acknowledged in international literature arising from a small number of key publications.
Professor Fagan’s work on Western Sydney has been particularly influential in planning and economic geography, with important audiences in local government (WSROC), trade unions and the not-for-profit sector.
Professor Howitt’s work has contributed to better understanding of relations between Indigenous and settler societies and provided a foundation for reconceptualising aspects of Indigenous self-determination and its implications in social, cultural and political geography.
The relational approach to scale developed by Professor Howitt and Professor Fagan challenges conventional hierarchical ideas, encouraging approaches that recognises that, for example, local and global domains are co-implicated in each other and demonstrating that opportunities to secure sustainability, inclusion, justice and opportunity can benefit from scale-sensitive approaches to research.